MRI reliably characterizes medial meniscal tears

Studies from Korea and the U.S. show that MR imaging of the knee is a reliable and accurate test for the detection of specific subtypes of medial meniscal tears. MRI could also help identify false-positive injuries of the menisci and avoid unnecessary surgeries.

Dr. So Yeon Lee and colleagues at the Catholic University of Korea reviewed records of 192 patients who underwent arthroscopy and MRI of the knee. They found that T2-weighted imaging provided the most useful sequence for diagnosis of radial tears of the medial meniscal root.

University of Wisconsin researchers led by Dr. Arthur A. De Smet retrospectively assessed 559 patients who underwent knee MR scanning and arthroscopy. The investigators found false-positive MR diagnoses of medial meniscal tears are more common for longitudinal tears than for other tear types, particularly after acute trauma. Both studies appeared in the July issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.